My submission for a gallery show titled “The Female Gaze”, which had the premise of subverting the male gaze and celebrating women who own their sexuality. Here’s an extended description of my specific concept:
I aimed in my illustration to subvert tropes that have been prevalent in art for hundreds of years. Paintings of nude women have historically been either of mythological characters, who come with built-in backstories or of anonymous models. In the latter case, the humanness of the subject is rarely expanded upon and we’re left with no idea about who this woman is. I wanted to create a character with a distinct identity, whose personality and background you can immediately get an inkling of when you see my illustration.
I also thought about an annoyingly ubiquitous contemporary trope in comics and animation art. It’s so common to see women posed so that their spines are practically broken, their body twisted unnaturally to show both bum and breasts in the same shot. That’s not comfortable or even feasible in its extreme iterations, so I posed my character in a much more natural way.
Furthermore, I wanted to show a perspective rarely seen in these kinds of pictures: the sexuality of the picture’s subject herself. The viewer’s sexuality – presumed to be that of a straight man in most cases – is given lots of attention. But the woman in the picture so often remains passive, existing only as an object to satisfy someone else’s desires. Hopefully, it’s clear that my character has no intention to remain passive!
Media: Pencil, Procreate, Photoshop